BERTRAMS PARK, a small but highly significant park, in the dilapidated area of Bertrams, services a diverse community, particularly Bertrams Primary School which has no play or sporting facilities. Town Planning issues and approvals, as well as attempts to purchase additional stands, all delayed construction on the site. This resulted in extreme time challenges for The Johannesburg Development Agency (JDA), the Design Team and the contractor. As a tight budget had been allocated for the implementation of the Park, materials and existing play equipment were recycled wherever possible.
The Woodland Discovery Playground was designed by Shelby Farm Park Conservatory’s Master Plan design firm, James Corner Field Operations (JCFO), and the design process was anything but ordinary. To create the next great 21st century play landscape, SFPC and JCFO went straight to experts—local kids. The site for the Woodland Discovery Playground is situated on an existing twenty-year-old play area and edged by woodland that has been overtaken by Chinese Privet. The design of the playground capitalizes on its location with a woodland restoration project and significant new native plantings that enmesh the play space with its surroundings.
Within its wooded context, outdoor play at Shelby Farms Park will promote discovery, provoke challenges, embrace delight, encourage creativity, build relationships, and cultivate healthy children’s development. The new Woodland Discovery Playground will shape an environment that allows for change, transformation, and growth; that reflects theories about how children learn, develop, and play; and that meaningfully engages with the entire Memphis community.
Photo by Daniel Avila Source: NYC Dept. Parks & Recreation
On July 27, Mayor Michael Bloomberg and architect David Rockwell opened Imagination Playground at Burling Slip, an innovative playspace conceived and designed pro-bono by Mr. Rockwell to encourage child-directed, unstructured free play. With a focus on loose parts, Imagination Playground offers a changing array of elements that allows children to constantly reconfigure their environment and to design their own course of play. The Mayor and Mr. Rockwell were joined by Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver, Borough President Scott Stringer, Council Member Margaret Chin, Community Board 1 Chair Julie Menin and Parks & Recreation Commissioner Adrian Benepe.
David Rockwell has partnered with Darell Hammond of KaBOOM!, a national non-profit dedicated to saving play, to bring Imagination Playground in a Box to communities across the country. The first Imagination Playground in a Box was launched at the Brownsville Recreation Center playground in Brooklyn, NY in July 2008.